Burglar ‘is a menace to all residents’
APROLIFIC burglar who broke into two family homes after losing his job as a church cafe volunteer has been jailed.
Martin Riley, 42, relapsed into heroin use and raided the properties on Whalley Road in Clayton-le-Moors and Queens Road in Accrington.
The dad-of-one stole £5,500 worth of electrical equipment from one property and was disturbed by the owner of another after she caught him in her house, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Riley, of Burnley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and was jailed for 39 months.
Prosecutor Judith McCullough said Riley broke into the house on Queens Road through a ground floor window on November 27 and that ‘every room’ had been searched.
He stole £5,500 worth of equipment, including games consoles, DVDs, jewellery and watches.
Riley was identified after CSI officers found his blood in three places around the property and he was arrested three days later. A mobile phone stolen from the house was recovered from him.
The victims said they are now ‘anxious and fearful’ to go out and had to spend ‘a considerable amount of money to buy CCTV and alarm systems’.
Miss McCullough said Riley also entered an unlocked house on Whalley Road in Clayton-leMoors at around 8pm on October 17.
The owner returned home to find Riley’s dog tied to a drain pipe outside and when she went into the house she saw the defendant in the kitchen.
The court heard how Riley told the victim ‘I’m really sorry. I’ve got completely the wrong house. I should be next door but one’ before leaving.
Miss McCullough said the woman’s husband had left a side door unlocked and went to a football match but nothing had been stolen.
Anthony Parkinson, defending, said Riley is ‘disappointed to be in court again’ after a fouryear gap.
He told the court that when he was released from prison in 2013 he was drug-free and ‘engaged with a church in Accrington that has an adjoining coffee shop,’ where he volunteered.
However he lost the role in October last year and ‘fell back into his old ways’.
Mr Parkinson said: “He doesn’t know or can’t explain why he made the fateful decision to take heroin again. By his own admission he has a terrible record for dishonesty.”
Martin Riley has been jailed for 39 months